Everyone knows that vintage Barbie dolls and clothes are highly collectible, but I had no idea just how valuable they can be until recently when I came across a large collection of vintage 1960s Barbie clothes at a garage sale. I don’t have much of an interest in dolls or clothes, so I usually bypass them. These were priced right (cheap!), however, so I figured at the very least I would have fun sorting through them. The clothes were stuffed in three bags, unmatched. It took me days to sort, match shoes, research online and identify outfits. As it turns out, it was worth the effort. The value of some of these items is unbelievable!
Especially popular and sought after are complete outfits from the very early 1960s — usually with shoes, hat, purse and sometimes gloves. Also look for shoes marked JAPAN on the bottom, especially the high-heeled pumps and individual early accessories. One pair of pumps in the right color can go for $50 or more and the little mink hat pictured at the top typically sells by itself for $20 – $30. Complete outfits in unopened packages are the collector’s dream and can fetch hundreds of dollars. And don’t forget about Barbie’s friends — Francie, Skipper, Casey, Tutti, Ken and, starting with Twiggy in the late 1960s, the limited edition celebrity dolls.
There is a great website that provides detailed information about every outfit created for each doll in the Barbie line during the 1960s. Even if you don’t collect or have anything to sell, it’s fun to browse and is sure to bring back fond memories.